Strong turnout to watch grand finals

TENNIS fever has gripped McKinlay, as the region hosted entertaining grand finals on Friday night.

SHOT: Big Bangers’ Peachy Davies gets set to smash a forehand down the line.

BACKHAND: Jade Lyons looks for a backhand return during the singles final on Friday night.

WINNER: Ball Boys’ Andrew Sollitt reaches out to keep the point alive.

A strong crowd gathered at the Indoor Sports Centre for three blockbuster matches, which would decide McKinlay’s round-robin tennis competition.

Dressed in comically appropriate tennis attire, the First Timers category saw Karena Leake and Sally Blacklock successful, downing opponents Kelly Lemon and Bram Pollock 5-7, 6-3, 6-0.

Lemon and Pollock took the first set, but then Leake and Blacklock clicked into gear as a cohesive combination in the best-of-three-sets tie.

Next up was singles, with Jade Lyons successfully defending her crown against Monique Butterworth 6-3, 6-4.

Butterworth threatened to fight back in the second set, but the experienced Lyons would hold her nerve and deliver another title.

The final encounter of an action-packed evening saw Shayne Gabbert and Andrew Sollitt triumphant in the doubles.

Gabbert and Sollitt proved too good for the combination of Butterworth and Peachy Davies, winning 6-3, 6-4.

McKinlay Shire Council community services team leader Jade Lyons hailed the competition a winner, already eagerly anticipating the third instalment next year.

“It was a very community-orientated atmosphere with everyone dressing up in their best tennis gear,” she said.

Lyons – the singles winner – admitted to pre-game nerves, but as a whole, enjoyed the experience.

“It’s a really good social outlet,” she said.

“I’ve won the last two years but still felt pretty nervous before the game.

“It’s very nerve-racking playing in front of a crowd.”

McKinlay Shire Council tennis grand final results: First Timers Karena Leake and Sally Blacklock d Kelly Lemon and Bram Pollock 5-7, 6-3, 6-0. Singles Jade Lyons d Monique Butterworth 6-3, 6-4. Doubles Shayne Gabbert and Andrew Sollitt d Monique Butterworth and Peachy Davies 6-3, 6-4.

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